Day 5

After a nice lie in, we decided to visit a nearby village and socialise with the locals. Before heading to the Varagi Temple, we reached the temple at 5.30 pm. The Mandir itself was said to be over 3000 years old, but it appeared to have been renovated. Inside we were shocked to find a rather brand new idol of Mataji, upon enquiring we were told that the large copper chest lay the actual deity. We were also told that no one has ever seen the idol and the chest is opened once a year at a particular full moon, the priest is blind-folded when performing the puja.

Behind the temple, is a boulder sliced in half, as a result of Bheema’s tantrum after losing the dice game to the Gauravas. We then squeezed ourselves inside a gap between two enormous boulders, to find before us a Shakti Peedam, we offered our prayers and moved on through the cave. We had to crouch and could barely make it single file. There were various deities, and once outside a little further away we saw the boulder. To me it seemed like half a mountain, with a deep cut running along it. In utter darkness we raced back to the car, our feet searing in pain. At this point we had run out of refreshments, thankfully the shop closest to the temple remained open and we bought a dozen or so bananas and speeded off towards Gangolihat. We reached our hotel at 11.45pm. The Varahi Temple in Devi Dura is a Sakthipeedam temple, although it has recently been renovated still reminds us of Mahabharatha epic. it is said and commonly belived by the locals that Pandava brothers have spent some time in these places.

The history of Shakti peethas dates back to Satya yuga, King Dhaksha is the son of Lord Bhrama(one of the Hindu Trinity, the creator), and his daughter is Sati. Sati is considered as the first incarnation of  Parvathi. All the gods wished Sati to get married to Lord Shiva(one of the Trinity, The Destroyer). Their marriage held without the wishes of Dhaksha.

The Yajna and Sati’s desire: King Daksha decided to perform Vrihaspati Yajna with the desire to take revenge on his daughter-in-law Lord Shiva. Dhakshan has invited Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and all the deities from the heaven to the yajna except for Shiva and Sati. Sati due to her Love towards her parents, wanted to attend the Yajna even without the invitation. She believed that since she was her own daughter need not be invited. She asked Shiva for permission to attend the Yajna, but lord Shiva tried to stop her. But Sati’s ears were shut by the Love she had on her parents and had decided to go with every warning he gave. So Shiva had no other choice other than allowing her, he sent his Shiva ganas to be escorted with her. When she reached her parents home, Sati wasn’t given respect and love that she expected, instead she was insulted by her father for her marriage to the Yogi, who always stays in the burial grounds. Sati unable to hear her father’s insults and she felt for herself for not hearing Shiva’s advice, so she committed suicide by jumping into the fire, saying she’ll be born to a father who’ll respect her husband.

Shiva’s Anger: When Lord Shiva heard about his wife’s death he became furious, enraged Shiva created Virabhadra and Badrakali from his hair(Jada mudi) to kill King Dhaksha, they both smashed everything, where the yajna took place and slayed everyone they found in that place. Lord Shiva with grief didn’t know what to do, he took Sati’s half burnt body with him and started performing Rudra Tandav, the dance of destruction. The world was in total fear by this Tandava Nritya by Shiva.

Shakti Peethas: Even the other gods are afraid and they requested Lord Vishnu(The preserver in Hindu Mythology and one of the Trinity) to stop this devastating dance, so that the world will be saved from this devastating dance. Vishnu used his Sudarshan chakra (the whirling knife on his finger tip) to cut Sati’s body into 51 pieces, so that Lord Shiva could calm down and take up his regular duties. When her body parts fell, temples are erected with different manifestations of Shiva and Parvathi in those places and became a Hindu Pilgrimages. They are called Peetha or Shakti Peethas. These temples are scattered in present day Pakistan, India, SriLanka and Bangladesh. Sati is also called Devi or Shakti(Strength). Shaktipeethas(places of strength) became the places of worship dedicated to the Goddess Shakti. Devotees believe that they get blessed and get boons by visiting these places.

 

DEVI DURA ( VARAHI AMMAN) TEMPLE

  

List of 51 Sakthi Peedams

 

No.
Place and States in India and other Countries
Organ or Ornament
Shakti
Bhairava
1
Sri Lanka, in Nainativu, Jaffna
Anklets
Indrakshi / Nagapooshani / Bhuvaneswari
Rakshaseshwar
2
Sharkrare, a little distance from Sukkur Station from Karachi, Pakistan
Eyes
Mahishmardini
Krodhish
3
Sugandha, situated in Shikarpur, Gournadi, about 20 km from Barisal town, Bangladesh, on the banks of Sonda river.
Nose
Sunanda
Trayambak
4
Amarnath in Kashmir, India from Srinagar through Pahalgam 94 km by Bus, Chandanwari 16 km by walk
Throat
Mahamaya
Trisandhyeshwar
5
Jwalamukhi, Kangra, India from Pathankot alight at Jwalamukhi Road Station from there 20 km
Tongue
Siddhida (Ambika)
Unmatta Bhairav
6
Jalandhar, India from Jalandhar Cantonment Station to Devi Talab
Left Breast
Tripurmalini
Bhishan
7
Ambaji, at Anart, Gujarat, India
Heart
Ambaji
8
Nepal, near Pashupatinath Temple at Gujyeshwari Temple
Both Knees
Mahashira
Kapali
9
Manas, under Tibet at the feet of Mount Kailash in Lake Mansarovar, a piece of Stone
Right Hand
Dakshayani
Amar
10
Biraja in Utkal present Orissa, India
Navel
Vimla
Jagannath
11
Gandaki from Pokhara, Nepal about 125 km on the banks of Gandaki river where Muktinath temple is situated
Temple
Gandaki Chandi
Chakrapani
12
Bahula, on the banks of Ajay river, at Ketugram 8 km from Katwa, Burdwan, West Bengal, India
Left Arm
Goddess Bahula
Bhiruk
13
Ujaani, 16 km from Guskara Station under Burdwan district of West Bengal, India
Right Wrist
Mangal Chandika
Kapilambar
14
Udaipur, Tripura, at the top of the hills known as Tripura Sundari temple near Radhakishorepur village, a little distance away from Udaipur town of Tripura, India
Right Leg
Tripura Sundari
Tripuresh
15
Chatral or Chôţţogram on the Chandranath hill near Sitakunda station of Chittagong district, Bangladesh. The famous Chandranath Temple on the top of the hill is the Bhairav temple of this Shakti Peetha, not the Shakti Peeth itself.
Right Arm
Bhawani
Chandrashekhar
16
Trisrota, at Salbari village under Boda division of Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal, India
Left Leg
Bhraamari
Ambar
17
Kamgiri, Kamakhya, at the Neelachal hills near Guwahati, capital of Assam, India
Genital Organ
Kamakhya
Umanand
18
Jugaadya at Khirgram under Burdwan district, West Bengal, India
Great Toe (Right)
Jugaadya
Ksheer Khandak
19
Kalipeeth, (Kalighat, Kolkata), India
Right Toes
Kalika
Nakuleesh
20
Prayag near Sangam at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Finger (Hand)
Lalita
Bhava
21
Jayanti at Kalajore Baurbhag village of Falzur Pargana under Jayantia Thana of Sylhet district, Bangladesh. This Shakti Peetha is locally known as Falizur Kalibari.
Left Thigh
Jayanti
Kramadishwar
22
Kireet at Kireetkona village, 3 km from Lalbag Court Road station under district Murshidabad, West Bengal, India
Crown
Vimla
Sanwart
23
Varanasi at Manikarnika Ghat on banks of Ganga at Kashi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Earring
Vishalakshi & Manikarni
Kalbhairav
24
Kanyashram, Kanyakumari the Bhadrakali temple within the precincts of Kumari temple, Tamil Nadu, India (also thought to be situated in Chittagong, Bangladesh)
Back
Sarvani
Nimish
25
Present day Kurukshetra town or Thanesar ancient Sthaneshwar, at Haryana, India
Ankle Bone
Savitri
Sthanu
26
Manibandh, at Gayatri hills near Pushkar 11 km towards north-west from Ajmer, Rajasthan, India
Two Bracelets
Gayatri
Sarvanand
27
Shri Shail, at Jainpur village, near Gotatikar, towards north-east 3 km from Sylhet town, Bangladesh
Neck
Mahalaxmi
Sambaranand
28
Kankalitala, on the banks of Kopai river 10 km towards north-east from Bolpur station of district Birbhum, Devi locally known as KankaleshwariWest Bengal, India
Bone
Devgarbha
Ruru
29
Kalmadhav on the banks of Shon river in a cave over hills near to Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India
Buttock (Left)
Kali
Asitang
30
Shondesh, at the source point of Narmada river in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh, India
Buttock (Right)
Narmada
Bhadrasen
31
Ramgiri, at Chitrakuta on the Jhansi Manikpur Railway line in Uttar Pradesh, India
Right Breast
Shivani
Chanda
32
Vrindavan, near new bus stand on Bhuteshwar road within Bhuteshwar Mahadev Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
Ringlets of Hair
Uma
Bhutesh
33
Shuchi, in a Shiva temple at Shuchitirtham 11 km on Kanyakumari Trivandrum road, Tamil Nadu, India
Teeth (Upper Jaw)
Narayani
Sanhar
34
Panchsagar , Devi dura near Almora
Teeth (Lower Jaw)
Varahi
Maharudra
35
Kartoyatat, at Bhawanipur village 28 km distance from interior Sherpur. Alight at Bagura station under district Bagura, Bangladesh
Left Anklet (Ornament)
Arpana
Vaman
36
Shri Parvat, near Ladak, Kashmir, India. Another belief: at Srisailam in Shriparvat hills under Karnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Right Anklet (Ornament)
Shrisundari
Sundaranand
37
Vibhash, at Tamluk under district Purba Medinipur, West Bengal, India
Left Ankle
Kapalini (Bhimarupa)
Sarvanand
38
Prabhas, 4 km distance from Veraval station near Somnath temple in Junagadh district of Gujarat, India
Stomach
Chandrabhaga
Vakratund
39
Bhairavparvat, at Bhairav hills on the banks of Shipra river a little distance from Ujjaini town, Madhya Pradesh, India
Upper Lips
Avanti
Lambkarna
40
Jansthan, at Godavari river valley near Nasik, Maharasthra, India
Chin (Two Parts)
Bhramari
Vikritaksh
41
Sarvashail or Godavaritir, at Kotilingeswar temple on the banks of Godavari river near Rajamundry, Andhra Pradesh, India
Cheeks
Rakini or Vishweshwari
Vatsnabh or Dandpani
42
Birat, near Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India
Left Feet Fingers
Ambika
Amriteshwar
43
Ratnavali, on the banks of Ratnakar river at Khanakul-Krishnanagar, district Hooghly, West Bengal, India
Right Shoulder
Kumari
Shiva
44
Mithila, near Janakpur Railway station on the boarder of IndiaNepal
Left Shoulder
Uma
Mahodar
45
Nalhati,known as “Nalateshwari Temple” near Nalhati station of Birbhum district by rickshaw, West Bengal, India
Tubular Bones of the Feet
Kalika Devi
Yogesh
46
Karnat place not known
Both Ears
Jayadurga
Abhiru
47
Bakreshwar, on the banks of Paaphara river, 24 km distance from Siuri Town, district Birbhum,7km from Dubrajpur Rly. Station West Bengal, India
Portion between the eyebrows
Mahishmardini
Vakranath
48
Jessoreswari, situated at Ishwaripur, Shyamnagar, district Satkhira, Bangladesh. The temple complex was built by Raja Pratapaditya, whose capital was Ishwaripur.
Palms of Hands & Feet
Jashoreshwari
Chanda
49
Attahas [Village:Dakshindihi,Dt:Burdwan]].From Katwa Rly. Station by bus to “NIROL”(Approx 40Minutes).From there by Van rickshaw around 20 minutes to Attahas, West Bengal, India
Lips
Phullara
Vishvesh
50
Sainthia, locally Known as “Nandikeshwari” temple. Earlier Nandipur/Now in Sainthia Town. only 1.5 km from Railway Station under a banyan tree within a boundary wall, Birbhum district, West Bengal, India
Necklace
Nandini
Nandikeshwar
51
Hingula (Or Hinglaj), southern Baluchistan a few hours North-east of Gawadar and about 125 km towards North-west from Karachi, Pakistan
Bramharandhra (Part of the head)
Kottari
Bhimlochan